MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Each team played with vigor, but in the end it was Company A who won the tournament undefeated, providing them their third trophy in the series of sports tournaments held by HQSPTBn.
Company A served multiple aces and cut shots to Security Company’s squad, ending the first game 21-9 and earning Company A their first team win.
Security Company’s chance to take the trophy was not lost on their first win, since the tournament required two losses for elimination. They moved to the loser’s bracket and waited for their second chance to prove themselves as Company I and Company B took to the court.
During the second game of the afternoon, Company I served Company B a similar defeat with the final score at 21-11, causing Company A’s team members to whisper to each other as they kept one eye on Company I and the other on the court, sizing up the team’s strength and skill.
Security Company and Company B moved to the loser’s bracket to fight for their last hope of advancing to the semifinals. Company B woke from their slumber and surprised fans when they bombarded their adversary with spikes and blocked cuts, securing a 21-9 win against Security Company.
“The Marines are getting re-energized and feel like they’re part of a team,” said 1st Sgt. Nicole Freres, the company first sergeant with Company A, Headquarters and Support Battalion, MCB Camp Lejeune. “(Operational) tempo is so fast that we lose part of doing events like this.”
Company A and Company I went head to head in the semifinals winners bracket. Both teams started strong in the tournament, and their match against each other went back and forth until Company A managed to out-score Company I, 21-17.
Company I took their first loss and moved to the semifinals loser’s bracket for a rematch with Company B. Revitalized from a win, Company B used their newfound momentum to beat Company I, 21-18, and advanced to play undefeated Company A.
“We came out here and we didn’t know what to expect from the other teams,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy Christian, a travel auditor with Company A. “But when we came out here we knew we had four great ball players. We were going to mix in the rest, and so far that’s what’s working for us. We’re going to keep doing the same thing for the next games, and try not to take a loss.”
It was a close match between Companies A and B in the tournament championship. Both teams jumped, dashed and blocked with all their speed and might, trying to secure a solid lead over the other. The score was 19-17 with Company A in the lead when the seriousness heightened and both teams came close to the 21-point goal to end the game. The players yelled “I got it” to mark control over the ball, but as each player stepped up to serve, the gym fell silent.
After an intense battle that left the players and fans with sweaty palms and nervous feelings, Company A remained undefeated and seized first place in a 21-18 victory over Company B.
This was one of many team sport events that have been offered during the Commander’s Cup Challenge. After this challenge, Companies A and B are tied, with three competition wins each, while Companies I and Security trail with one win a piece.
“I think that this is a great event,” said Lt. Col. David G. Bardof, HQSPTBn. commander. “Each one of these Marines is out here representing their company. Look at them - the competitive juices are flowing. It’s building unity and camaraderie, not only within the companies, but also within the entire battalion and that’s the exact thing we’re trying to do with the Commander’s Cup Challenge.”
The next competition will be an indoor dodgeball tournament scheduled for Feb. 24.